Definition of plantigrade in English:



  • (of a mammal) walking on the soles of the feet, like a human or a bear.

    Compare with digitigrade
    • ‘They were all short-legged and plantigrade (walking on the soles of their feet), and they had five toes on each foot, a primitive feature.’
    • ‘Valentine and Estroltch - two males - are fascinating to watch because of their plantigrade feet, which means both heel and toe make contact with the ground, causing them to walk like humans.’
    • ‘The eyes are usually very small, the feet are plantigrade and have five digits, and neither the hallux or pollex is opposable.’
    • ‘Erinaceids can be identified by their dental formula, complete zygomatic arches (the jugal is present), eyes and ears of moderate size, and plantigrade foot posture.’
    • ‘A skinned bear carcass resembles a human corpse; and, because the bear is a plantigrade animal with broad soles and five digits, imprints left by its paws resemble human footprints more than those of other animals.’
    • ‘The legs are short, and the feet are plantigrade and have 5 toes.’
    • ‘The veterinarian, however, disputed his point of view, noting that the tracks belonged to a dog of plantigrade characteristics arising from a deformation.’
    • ‘A plantigrade (feet on the ground) posture allows easy travel through deep snow.’
    • ‘A heel raise was not routinely used unless the ankle had not been positioned in a plantigrade position after the change of cast at 4 weeks.’
    • ‘All feet have four digits, each with a heavy and sharp claw, and the posture of these animals is plantigrade.’
    • ‘Mustelids are plantigrade or digitigrade, and their feet have five toes.’
    • ‘Hystricids are plantigrade, that is, they place the full sole of the foot on the ground when they walk.’
    • ‘This occurred in four patients, all in group 2, in whom a plantigrade position had not been reached at that stage because of pain.’
    • ‘Feet are plantigrade with five partially webbed toes.’
    • ‘We observed that they were no longer capable of plantigrade walking even after several weeks of locomotor training.’
    • ‘Two to three weeks after a complete section of the spinal cord at Tl 3, cats can make plantigrade contact and sustain the weight of their hindquarters.’


Mid 19th century: from French, from modern Latin plantigradus, from Latin planta sole + -gradus -walking.